Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear wastes – deliberately left to our grandchildren – theme for February 2021

The nuclear lobby has found the perfect solution to shutting down reactors and dealing with radioactive trash now accumulating.  The answer is so simple – Do Nothing, really.

You just extend the operating licenses of old, cracked, tired nuclear reactors for many more decades –  100 years is the recommnded time, now.

That way, all today’s so-called ”responsible” authorities absolve themselves of all responsibility for those problem and outcomes.  And – it’s so much cheaper than taking responsibility!

February 5, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The Australian nuclear waste confidence trick – theme for February 2021

The small rural town of Kimba is being conned by the unethical Australian nuclear lobby –  Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Department Of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) and all their political and media hangers-on. 1 the planned waste dump is not a “medical necessity” for Australia.  Nuclear medicine will continue if there is no centralised dump.

  1. Medical radioisotopes –  the vast majority decay so fast that they are best disposed of close to where they are used,: they do not need to be transported 1700 km across Australia.
  2. Contrary to the propaganda fed to the farming and pastoral communities of Kimba and Hawker, the purpose of the dump is not just for Low Level Wastes (LLW). It is for Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW), which by the way, are classed in France as High Level Wastes (HLW)
  3. The communities are told that the  waste dump is  “temporary”, but as there is no plan for permanent disposal, in reality, it will be a case of stranded nuclear wastes for hundreds of years.
  4. The communities are told that overseas, nuclear waste dumps are happily accepted, but in reality, there is fierce public opposition in UK, France and USA.
  5. There is no real evidence that this will be an economic bonanza for the towns.  There is every likelihood that this plan, already divisive for the communities, will be a blight on South Australia’s agriculture, tourism, and reputation.

 

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first international ban on nuclear weapons, came into force on Jan. 22, 2021.

It joins the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention as a treaty prohibiting weapons of mass destruction . It joins those international agreements that prohibit and eliminate weapons based on their humanitarian harm.  The treaty has widespread support in the international community — 122 countries voted for its adoption in 2017, and these countries have continued to express their support for the treaty .

The Traty is not merely symbolic.  It prohibits states parties from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using (or threatening to use) nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits states parties from assisting, encouraging, or inducing states to engage in any of these prohibited activities.

A NATO State  may join the Treaty and remain in the alliance as long as that state renounces participation in the nuclear dimension of the alliance and indicates that it does not support activities prohibited by the treaty.

About compliance concerns in the Treaty.  international treaties reinforce norms and provide a forum to discuss and condemn violations of international standards for peace and security.

The treaty will continue to grow and integrate into the international system well beyond its entry into force in January and first meeting of states parties.  The norm established by previous weapons prohibitions impacted banks, companies, and government policies in countries that had not joined the treaty, and the same can be expected for the nuclear prohibition norm.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will impact the norm against nuclear weapons and in the meantime will provide concrete assistance for victims of nuclear weapons use and testing and contribute to remediating radiologically contaminated areas.

These notes adapted from https://warontherocks.com/2020/11/five-common-mistakes-on-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/

January 9, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

This ICAN  report  corrects the Australian government’s  misrepresentation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

Australians can be proud of historic efforts – Doc Evatt and the Labor Party led in the 1940s to establish the United Nations. Australia led in in negotiating and ratifying conventions against chemical weapons in 1972 and against landmines and cluster munitions in more recent times.   Gough Whitlam ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1973 and that treaty is still important in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

Much more recently, Australians initiated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which grew to eventually bring about the successful movement towards the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was awared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was concluded in July 2017 with the support of 122 states. Unfortunately, Australia was one of those few countries that did not vote for that treaty. Under this government, we didn’t even participate in the negotiation of the treaty, and we voted against the 2016 UN General Assembly resolution that established the mandate for negotiations. It isn’t a proud record.

With 51 ratfications, the Treaty will come into legal force on January 22. This is being ignored by the present Australian government.  However, The Australian Labor Party is committed to working toward the ratification of the treaty. The US alliance is very important to Australia and to the Australian Labor Party. Ratifying this treaty as a sovereign state should not affect our relationship with the incoming Biden administration.

ICAN Australia says ” While the entry into force of the treaty won’t make nuclear weapons disappear overnight, it will mark a significant shift in the legal and political framework around these weapons. They will be increasingly shunned like chemical and biological weapons. The treaty provides a multilateral legal pathway for all nations to further the stigmatisation, prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. We won’t let Australia weasel out of it forever.”

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The new Big Global HOAX – LITTLE Nuclear Reactors – a marketing triumph! theme for December 20

For a while, it was confined to the “nuclear nations” – USA, Russia, China, and some historic failed attempts in India and South Africa. Now these still non existent fantasies are being marketed to countries all over the world

The “peaceful nuclear industry’ with very big reactors, and less big “research” reactors,  has always been an expensive front for the nuclear weapons industry.

But, things have changed.  The big reactors have got massively expensive, and the toxic radioactive trash that they produce has become a global and unsolvable problem.  Shock horror –  people don’t like them!  Non nuclear cyclotrons can produce medical radioisotopes – no need for the research reactors, either.

The global nuclear weapons industry is in a panic, because:

It must somehow keep up that ‘peaceful’ mask of “commercial nuclear” , and “medical nuclear”.  and

more shock horror – people don’t want nuclear weapons, and the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will come into force on 22 January 2020 –   the nuclear weapons industry will become illegal, just like chemical warfare and land mines.

What to do to keep the nuclear weapons industry going?  Where to get money for it?  Where to get the essential nuclear personnel?  Where to get the money and training for these nuclear experts?

The solution – a new gimmick to enthuse the population yet again about the nuclear industry- the Small Nuclear Reactor

And those wonderful marketing minds raced around to find that solution, and to market it as the solution to some other grave global problem.  And there was a new  problem sitting there, waiting to be exploited. – CLIMATE CHANGE!

You’ve gotta hand it to these nuclear snake oil salesmen – they are doing a great job, worldwide – especially seeing that they know that Small Nuclear Reactors would be no use whatever against global heating.  And governments and media are swallowing their story.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Corrupt spinning of Small Nuclear Reactors -Australia beware – theme for December 2020

With the financial collapse of the nuclear industry, and with the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty coming into force soon, the nuclear lobby is pitching a pack of lies, as it desperately promotes Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs.).

Australia is not immune to this corrupt spin.  Indeed, Australia is a sitting duck

November 28, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Politics – what hope for civil society? theme for November 20 

AS I write the tortuous American election  process is going on. The USA used to be a world leader .   This is a gripping example of 2 different ways to run the political process. With Trump – dictatorial ruthlessness – heading to fascism, with Biden, restraint, respect for the rule of law, and a co-operative effort.

2020 has seen the continuing dictators, like  Xi Jinping, Putin, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bolsonaro, Bashar Al-Assad – , and also the drift to  dictatorship in democratic countries, e.g India.  As the world is faced with huge problems, many people seem to turn to uninformed, anti-science populist leaders – especially in English- language countries –  USA, Britain, Australia.

So –  the American election circus goes on: it is something of a test case for the world.  To deal with global heating, nuclear dangers, and the pandemic, we need people of intelligence, respect for science, and the ability to co-operate.

Fortunately there are many thousands of people with all kinds of valuable skills , working on the global problems.  Far too many great organisations to name here, and a lot of them under the wing of the United Nations.

The achievements can be seen, and continue to evolve, First and foremost , there’s the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, It matters, whatever the bosses of the ‘nuclear nations’ say.  There’s the global work towards the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.   But, however good the work of these agencies, it can succeed only with the participation and support of millions of people

The media has a huge role to play in explaining and promoting this. But will they?

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Politics in the age of pandemics, global heating, and nuclear danger – theme for November 20

The global threats of pandemic, climate change, and nuclear danger clearly require co-operation between nations, if we are to have any hope for a decent future – indeed – perhaps any future, for the human species, and for the rest of the other species, too.

Tensions as Armenia- Azerbaijan conflict pauses. War in Syria grinds on. USA and China already in some sort of cold war. National pride and one-up-manship are perpetually on display among the leaders of countries.  Nationalist and populist leaders seem to be in charge, with competitiveness and dog-eat-dog as their prevailing philosophy.

It is time for political leaders to pay attention to the efforts of global bodies, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and the many international agencies that work for the public good. What a timely winner for the Nobel Peace Prize was the United Nations World Food Programme!

As I write, people all over the world sigh in relief as the USA’s Democratic Party, led by reaonable people, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, wins the American election.   The disastrous results of four years of the Trump presidency for the United States will take some fixing. A return of President Trump would mean disaster for the whole world.

A rational team in the White House could begin the change that the world needs –   co-operation between the powerful nations to address the threats that now preoccupy the world’s people.

The Biden-Harris team will address the horrors of pandemic and climate change.

But let’s be aware. They’ll be more co-operative on nuclear arms control, but they are just as much in the grip of the nuclear lobby as the Republicans are.

November 9, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

USA election – pandemic, climate, nuclear issues – theme for October 2020

On the pandemic – Donald Trump says – his COVID-19 infection is a “blessing from God”, and promises to make the experimental drug he received available for free to all Americans.

What can I say?  The present coronavirus chaos in America surely indicates what we can expect from a renewed Trump presidency – further chaos on the health area, and probably every other area, too.   Heaven help USA if an even worse virus should come along.

On climate? – a Democratic victory would be an improvement indeed.  Joe Biden has not been an enthusiast for climate action – but, under the pressure of the climate crisis, and the strong demand for action with the ‘green new deal”, he now expresses strongly the Democrats policy plans for action to reduce greenhouse emissions, and support international agreements.

On nuclear?  We know that Biden and the Democrats will be better in international relations. It will be  a relief to get away from the Trump brinkmanship and uncertainty.  But – We can’t expect much progress on curbing the nuclear weapons bonanza for the death industries.

On nuclear power. Well, despite the evidence now becoming clear – that small nuclear reactors are useless, the Democrats would pursue them, because of their intrinsic connection with USA’s favourite industry –  weapons making. And because the myth about a ”transitional technology” makes it easier for the fossil fuel industries to hang on in there.

October 17, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australian politics in the pandemic, climate, nuclear crises – theme for November 20

I’ve had to update this, in view of changed circustances:

  1. This site from now on will leave pandemic and climate coverage to others, as these issues are being covered so well by others,. Here we will focus on matters nuclear, which are being studiously  ignored in Australia’s mainstream media.
  2. A dramatic win for fair process and against the nuclear lobby has just happened, as Labor and crossbench Senators rejected the government’s Bill to impose a nuclear waste dump on Kimba, South Australia. (But that battle will no doubt continue Minister Pitt, Trump-like, does not like losing)

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To be fair, Prime Minister Scott Morrison did a good job – taking the advice of medical science, and promptly dealing with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

But – looking at the longer term –   well, this government just doesn’t look at it!

They thought that coronavirus would magically all be over within a few months.  They have no plan for the , longer term health and economic recovery,

Australia is a leper in the world community, as it refuses to take action against climate change.

The Australian government, hand in glove with weapons-makers, has its politicians freely moving into weapons-making jobs, and vice versa, ignoring the huge conflicts of interest.

 

October 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics | Leave a comment

The American election: nuclear and climate issues -theme for October 2020

The coronavirus epidemic is right now the central human and ecological issue.  I am leaving that one, for other sites to cover.

The nuclear industry has always been the focus of this website.  For this coming election, it’s a sorry tale of woe. The Democrats managed to reject their most popular candidates – Bernie Sanders,  Elizabeth Warren,  who opposed the nuclear industry . The Democrats now orchestrated themselves now into some sort of weaker Republican-type party.  So, no surprise that Joe Biden is pretty much the same as Donald Trump on nuclear power.

We do see significant differences on foreign policy and nuclear weapons control, with Biden showing understanding of these issues, while Trump reveals his typical ignorance and marketing slogan nonsense.

If only the media would probe them on matters nuclear, instead of highlighting trivialities like their latest gaffes.

On global heating, there is a difference.   Donald Trump manages to ignore climate change, and use the horrific bushfires to attack the States on “forest management”  (never mind that federal forests are largely involved).    Importantly, he has pulled America out of the Paris international climate accord.

In his first term, Trump has blocked, weakened, or rolled back 100 environmental, public health, and worker safety regulations. Among them are virtually all the steps Obama took to address climate change, from the Clean Power Plan for the electricity sector to tighter fuel economy standards for transportation, emissions standards on methane for oil and gas operations, efforts to integrate a “social cost of carbon” for agency decision-making, reform of fossil fuel leasing on public land, and energy efficiency standards on light bulbsDavid Roberts, writing in VOX .

Joe Biden plans to recommit to the Paris Accord and ensure that the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions by 2050. Biden has also promised a halt to fossil fuel subsidies.  Recently Biden has made a lot of noise about climate change, mainly in attacking Trump. Methinks that Biden’s enthusiasm is rather recent, but he will be pushed towards action by the party.   Cartoon below by JINGJIE LI

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australia and the American election: Nuclear and climate issues -theme for October 20

American politics – nothing to do with us?   Think again.

Nuclear weapons – not much difference – whoever wins.  With Pine Gap,  military bases, and the ANZUS and Five Eyes spy alliances, Australia is tied in to the U.S. military industrial complex. Those bases are a military target. The USA will want to sell us military stuff, bring its nuclear submarines to our ports, etc.  However, there’s  a better chance of stability if the Democrats win, as Joe Biden is interested in arms control and agreements, whereas Trump specialises in tearing them all up.

The nuclear fuel chain – little difference. Joe Biden will be the same as Trump, perhaps worse, as he would be more organised, so better able to promote the marketing of gimmicky small nuclear reactors to Australia.

Climate change. Here lies a difference – a big one for Australia. Scott Morrison must be praying for Trump victory. They are pretty much on the same page on global heating, though unlike Trump,  Morrison has to pretend that he cares.

Indeed, a Biden victory would mean trouble for the Morrison government.  Joe Biden if president will push allies like Australia to do more on climate.

 

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The Arctic – where global heating meets nuclear pollution – polar theme for September 20

Global heating is bringing massive changes to the Arctic, and at an accelerating pace. It is the warning system to the world, as sea ice melts, Greenland’s glaciers melt, swathes of frozen ground thaw, permafrost melts. The Arctic ocean will probably be ice-free in summer by 2040.

Crazily, Russians and Americans rejoice, seeing all this as the opportunity to exploit the region for oil and gas, the very things that are causing this unfolding climate nightmare. Apparently these governments are not concerned about the Arctic processes that bring changed global weather, with changed ocean currents, sudden extreme cold snaps. Global heating speeds up with feedback loops: as ice is lost , dark water absorbs more heat from the sun, melting permafrost releases methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Arctic regions now experience repeated uncontrollable forest fires, bringing environmental and economic destruction.

Nuclear pollution.  The Arctic is where the the two disastrous threats meet – climate change and nuclear radiation. This danger is happening with fires threatening Northern Russian radioactive sites, and with radiation released as buried nuclear items appear from under the ice.   Russia’s dumping of nuclear submarines and other radioactive trash is now recognised as a danger to Arctic ecosystems.

There are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plant.  These numbers are set to increase; . “By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet.”

There were 2 fatal arctic accidents in 2019 – 14 sailors killed due to a fire on a nuclear-powered submarine, and an underwater nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded.  Several serious submarine nuclear reactor accidents have occurred in Arctic waters, and a U.S. bomber with plutonium warheads  crashed at Thule airbase on Greenland. In the Kara Sea, thousands of containers wit radioactive waste were dumped, together with 16 reactors.

September 6, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Antarctica – global heating and nuclear issues – theme for September 20

Antarctica is not in the news as much as the Arctic is,  But global heating is affecting Antarctica too, and Antarctica has its nuclear issues.

Antarctica has made headlines several times this year due to extremely warmer than usual temperatures. It has been steadily heating up for decades.  Antarctic ice shelves have lost nearly 4 trillion metric tons of ice since the mid-1990s, scientists say. Ocean water is melting them from the bottom up, causing them to lose mass faster than they can refreeze.  As ice shelves melt, they become thinner, weaker and more likely to break. When this happens, they can unleash streams of ice from the glaciers behind them, raising global sea levels. Antarctica is also losing ice from melting ice sheets, and chunks of ice falling from glaciers.

Less studied than the Arctic region, Antarctic is now being investigated by Australian researchers, using robots to gather data from difficult to reach underwater areas. Satellite monitoring confirms the shelves’ melting trend.

Nuclear issues.  From 6,000 nautical miles away, uranium mining in Australia is polluting the Antarctic.  After 1945 atomic bomb testing sent radioactive pollution to the South Pole, as well as to everywhere else on the planet.

USA  operated  a small nuclear power plant at Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound. It was known as “nukey poo” because of its frequent radioactive leaks. It had 438 malfunctions – nearly 56 a year – in its operational lifetime, including leaking water surrounding the reactor and hairline cracks in the reactor lining. The emissions of low level waste water where in direct contravention of the Antarctic Treaty, which bans military operations as well as radioactive waste in Antarctica. After the reactor was closed down, the US shipped 7700 cubic metres of radioactive contaminated rock and dirt to California.  Many USA naval workers there developed cancers.

Today, small nuclear reactors similar to this one, are being touted for remote areas in Australia and other countries. The history of this one in Antarctica, and 7 others elsewhere, was one of malfunctions, and closing down within a few years. This does not augur well for the small nuclear reactors being promoted today.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes, climate change - global warming, technology | Leave a comment

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki – time for the Global Nuclear Ban Treaty – theme for August 2020

August 6th and August 9th are the days that remind us of the horror of nuclear weapons.  The failing and desperate nuclear industry would like us to forget  about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’d like us to swallow their spin about new small nuclear reactors. (But new small nuclear reactors are just the latest gimmick to support the nuclear weapons industry, and put a friendly mask on it. They really have no other purpose.)

In this time of pandemic and global heating, Trump’s USA, Putin’s Russia, and other nations, are putting obscene amounts of money into nuclear weapons. The U.N.’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  (passed by a vote of 122-1-1 at the United Nations in 2017) is looking ever more rational and necessary.  It will enter into force when 50 nations have ratified it. It’s now up to 43 ratifications.

“The pandemic has taught us that all the world’s great needs and threats are linked. By reallocating bloated military spending and reorienting nations to resolve conflict through peaceful negotiation, people and governments throughout the world can more easily tackle the enormous economic and civil injustices that give rise to conflict and fuel the fire of climate change. Each victory in each arena must be used to feed progress elsewhere if humanity is to survive this century.

As we remember the victims of the atomic bombings 75 years ago and hear the stories of the survivors, we realize more than ever: we are all in this together. ” – Michael Christ, Executive Director, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

August 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes, weapons and war | Leave a comment